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American Ninja Warrior has had quite a few impressive runs in recent years, but even after 11 seasons, there are still impressive milestones being set. No, it wasn't Jessie Graff getting the spotlight and records this time, but a mother by the name of Sandy Zimmerman that stole the show. In a turn of events few could've expected, Zimmerman conquered the warped wall and became the first mom in the competition ever to defeat the course.
It was a huge inspirational American Ninja Warrior milestone during the Seattle/Tacoma City qualifiers, and was elevated further by the fact that Sandy Zimmerman was the oldest female competitor to complete the course at 42-years-old. It was a significant moment for Zimmerman, who trained often with other American Ninja Warrior hopefuls in a course she made in her backyard. Zimmerman had competed in the competition twice before, but in both attempts had only made it past the second obstacle.
This made her winning run on the course all the more amazing, as the mother of 3 conquered what many would agree was a difficult American Ninja Warrior course. Prior to her run, every athlete had fallen on a particularly difficult challenge before the warped wall, the "lightning bolts." The full run is incredibly satisfying to watch, but things really get emotional after she breezed through that section of the course and went onto that "doggone" warped wall.
Who among us wouldn't kill for the arm strength and confidence to be able to do a hanging fist pump before climbing up? Sandy Zimmerman certainly had the crowd on her side throughout the entire run, but that moment combined with her record-setting run may have just marked her as one of the favorites in Season 11 of American Ninja Warrior. Will this mom be able to hang with the well-known greats who moved on alongside her?
Possibly, as Sandy Zimmerman has a history of athleticism and a competitive spirit. 30 years before she ran the American Ninja Warrior course in the Tacoma Dome, she won a national championship for Judo in that same building. She's also played college basketball for Gonzaga, and has been a Physical Education teacher for the past 19 years. She may be new to the latter stages of the competition, but she's got that pedigree of lifelong athleticism successful contestants tend to share.
One underrated part of Sandy Zimmerman's story that NBC glossed over is her determination. Zimmerman revealed in her American Ninja Warrior submission video she sustained substantial injury to her right knee while performing a trapeze stunt, which caused a complete tear of her patellar tendon and ACL. The injury required a couple surgeries and rehab to regain her mobility. Zimmerman's former injury wasn't noticeable during her run, but could it come back to haunt her in city finals or nationals?
We only hope for the best and root for Sandy Zimmerman and others as American Ninja Warrior Season 11 continues on at NBC Mondays at 8:00 p.m. ET. Stick with CinemaBlend to stay up to date on what's happening with summer television and keep up with the latest news in television and movies in general.